Gone Too Soon: ‘Daybreak’:The Teenage Post-Apocalyptic Playground

Look, I fall hard, fast. I can tell you within the first few episodes if I’m going to love a show or give it up. I think that’s why it hurts so much when shows get canceled before their time, which happens all the time.

Seriously: All The Time. I watch a lot of one season wonders. Shows that are canceled before they ever really get the chance to find themselves or an audience.

Then there are shows that last a few seasons, and then are unceremoniously axed, often ending their run on a cliffhanger when they had so much more to offer. These shows deserve to be talked about, and trust me when I say I have a lot of them.

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Did you watch Daybreak on Netflix? Probably not, most people didn’t. The show premiered on October 24, and was canceled just two months later. It barely had any time to find a following. The holidays were happening, and I’m pretty sure that binge watching a new show wasn’t a top priority for anyone. 

The Gist

The show centers on what teenagers do after the apocalypse with no adults, and it turns out they use their cliques to rule their corner of the world. High school really did prepare them for the world.

After the end of civilization Josh Wheeler (Colin Ford) is trying to find his girlfriend Sam Dean (Sophie Simnett). He joins up with other outcasts, including Angelica, a 10-year genius who loves fire (Alyvia Alyn Lind), and bully turned samurai pacifist Wesley (Austin Crute).

The aforementioned cliques, well they really don’t like people on their turf, so the outcasts have to survive the gangs, the Ghoulies (the zombie-like adults), and all the other surprises the new world throws at them. Other cast members that you may recognize are: Cody Kearsley, Krysta Rodriguez, and Matthew Broderick.

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Should you watch it?

Why is Daybreak worth the watch? Well, do you like teen comedies, a la, Ferris Buller’s Day Off and post apocalyptic wastelands like Mad Max? Well, do I have the show for you. No, really it’s literally Mad Max + Ferris Buller’s Day Off. It is ridiculously fun, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. 

Do you like the found family trope? Well Daybreak had it in spades. They put together a nice little group, that genuinely cares about each other in just a few episodes. The “Daybreakers” are by far the coolest clique around. They shouldn’t work together, but they do.

Speaking of high school, as I mentioned before, the cliques turn into some truly cool gangs. There’s the jocks, the most Mad Max like of all the cliques, and just like in high school they are at the top of the pecking order. Other cliques include the Disciples of Kardashia, the 4-H Club (where my ag kid status and FFA membership would firmly plant me), The Stem Punks, the Game Overs, and my personal favorites the Cheermazons.

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Stand Out Moment

If you only watch one episode or one moment, you need to make it episode seven “Canta Tu Vida,” around the 30 minute mark. Krysta Rodriguez kills this scene, and I cried watching it. Seriously, check it out. You won’t regret it.

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Sunken Ships

Surprisingly there weren’t a lot of ships that didn’t sail. I won’t be too spoilery, but I wasn’t fully invested in any of the ships that were happening. It’s hard to care about Sam and Josh when they spend most of their time apart.

As for the other ship, well, let’s just say that I didn’t like their relationship, but it didn’t take anything away from the show for me. 

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Honestly, cliffhangers aren’t really a problem here. Sure there are a few mysteries that are never solved, but the central problem in the first season does come to a pretty solid conclusion.

The series ended by leaving the door open to the possibility of another season, with a clear direction of what it was going to explore. There won’t be any yelling at the TV when you finish this one. 

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Where to Watch

Netflix of course! They may have canceled the show too soon, but all the episodes are still available to watch. 

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If you did watch Daybreak what did you think of it? Did Netflix even really give it a chance? If you didn’t, are you gonna watch it now?

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  1. Hmmmm, gotta disagree that it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. There’s plenty of show mythology left to explore, especially with Miss Crumble, and the big heel turn at the end is full of implications they never got to delve into.

    1. Author

      In my mind there is a difference between an outright cliffhanger and setting the show up for another season. The main conflict of the first season is solved, so no cliffhanger. It does set up the second season, Sam taking over the jocks and what Miss Crumble really is.

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